The Real Deal Miami

Developer ends Bahia Mar project in Lauderdale

Project manager Jimmy Tate cited issues involving the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show

June 18, 2016 01:15PM

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Jimmy Tate

Jimmy Tate

The developer withdrew a controversial proposal to upgrade the Bahia Mar hotel and marina, home of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, and build two 29-story condominium buildings nearby.

Project developer Jimmy Tate withdrew the development application to the City of Fort Lauderdale by TRR Bahia Mar LLC in a letter delivered Friday afternoon to city officials.

The Sun-Sentinel also reported that Tate said in the letter that “for reasons beyond our control, the approval process has strayed from its proverbial path.”

According to Tate’s letter, his investor group failed to negotiate a lease with Show Management, the operator of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, the Marine Industry Association of South Florida, the show’s owner, that would have made Bahia Mar the long-term home of the annual event.

The show manager and the marine association demanded lease terms that “are not even close to being fair and equitable,” Tate said in his letter.

Tate’s investor group has a 46-year lease on the city-owned land where Bahia Mar is located at the southern end of Fort Lauderdale’s beach.

Opponents of the withdrawn Bahia Mar project criticized plans to build condominium buildings, initially designed to rise 39 stories and then reduced to 29 stories. Criticism also centered on the project’s impact on traffic.

Tate told the Sun-Sentinel his group wants the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show to continue making Bahia Mar its home after its current lease to use the property expires in two years.

But Tate also told the newspaper he was unsure how the show’s operator and owner will react to cancellation of the Bahia Mar project.

“It was unfortunate that a few individuals had turned a collaborative effort between the developer and the community into an ugly debate over certain issues,” Tate said in his letter. “We have seen ugliness and heard hatred in speeches and comments from members of the community who do not even know us.” [Sun-Sentinel] — Mike Seemuth